2 Singapore unionists slam Surbana Jurong over sacking of 54 workers

A view of the Supreme Court building in the backdrop of the skyline of Singapore's central business district May 27, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su/Files
A view of the Supreme Court building in the backdrop of the skyline of Singapore’s Central Business District. (PHOTO: Reuters)

Two union officials on Friday (20 January) slammed infrastructure consultancy Surbana Jurong for terminating 54 workers in Singapore over the past two weeks.

In a Facebook post, Nasordin Mohd Hashim, president of the Building Construction and Timber Industries Employees’ Union (BATU), said the way of providing fair treatment and due process for union members was “not observed”.

Usually, before a union member is terminated, the details of the case would be officially given to the union, he noted. Of the 54 terminated workers, 14 are members of BATU.

Surbana Jurong group chief executive Wong Heang Fine reportedly explained the terminations to staff by saying in an e-mail that the company could not allow poor performers to continue to affect the 99 per cent who were performing.

Responding to that, Nasordin said, “Eight of our members were re-employed staff who were offered re-employment or had their contract renewed. Why did the company offer them re-employment or renew their contract if their performance was not satisfactory to begin with?”

Philip Lee, Singapore Industrial & Services Employees’ Union (SISEU) general secretary, said in a separate Facebook post that he felt “very aggrieved” for the 54 workers who were terminated and labelled poor performers.

“To sack them just before CNY is heartless to the extreme,” he said, adding that the union wanted to see fairness from the Ministry of Manpower.

Similarly, BATU’s Nasordin said, “All we ask for is fairness, transparency and accountability for our members. These are universal principles which all companies and unions should stand by.”